Meaning of furcula in English:


Pronunciation /ˈfəːkjʊlə/

nounplural noun furculae/ˈfəːkjʊliː/

  • 1The wishbone of a bird.

    ‘Among other features, birds have a structure that they share with dromaeosaurs: a fused clavicle called the furcula, which serves as a brace during the flight stroke.’
    • ‘I would like to see if the furcula, or wishbone, is present.’
    • ‘Well, it is actually a wishbone, the furcula is the wishbone and it is made up of the clavicles fused together in the middle.’
    • ‘Archaeopteryx was a true bird, because it had a birdlike skull, perching foot, fully-formed flight feathers, a modern-looking elliptical wing, a furcula and avian lung design.’
    • ‘As the neotheropods emerged as a separate group, they shared an important ‘birdlike’ trait - the furcula, often (in birds) called the wishbone.’
    • ‘However, its feathers, wings, furcula and reduced fingers are all characteristics of modern birds.’
    • ‘The furcula, a fused clavicle, serves as a brace during the flight stroke; it's visible in the pictures above as a large Y-shaped bone ahead of the sternum.’
    • ‘But clavicles are now known from a variety of nonavian dinosaurs, and a fused furcula is present in several nonavian theropods, including allosauroids and tyrannosaurids.’
    • ‘In the pectoral girdle, fused clavicles, or a furcula, are now known in many theropods.’
    • ‘Such analyses have shown that some features considered to be typically avian, such as the furcula, first appeared in carnivorous dinosaurs.’
  • 2The forked appendage at the end of the abdomen in a springtail, by which the insect jumps.


Mid 19th century from Latin, diminutive of furca ‘fork’.